Conditional production of superpositions of coherent states with inefficient photon detection
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It is shown that a linear superposition of two macroscopically distinguishable optical coherent states can be generated using a single photon source and simple all-optical operations. Weak squeezing on a single photon, beam mixing with an auxiliary coherent state, and photon detecting with imperfect threshold detectors are enough to generate a coherent state superposition in a free propagating optical field with a large coherent amplitude (a>2) and high fidelity (F>0.99) . In contrast to all previous schemes to generate such a state, our scheme does not need photon number resolving measurements nor Kerr-type nonlinear interactions. Furthermore, it is robust to detection inefficiency and exhibits some resilience to photon production inefficiency.
Physical Review A (Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)
Copyright 2004 American Physical Society. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.